Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Do you know your way around the mystical world of public relations or PR? Do you have the time or the inclination to learn? If the answer is no but if you would like a stab at doing it yourself, here are some handy pointers to help you see the magic markers. Keep reading
A - Advertorial - Paid for magazine adverts made to look like editorial. Increasingly so in print media, revenue is coming before editorial so always as yourself how big a brands budget may be if you see them regularly in print. A key question to ask yourself if you are a brand too! What is my ad spend budget and is this the best place for ROI on that budget.
B - Brand story - Tell your dreams, visions, goals, aspirations and your story via your PR activity.
C - Calendar - Keep a calendar of media timelines and notable events (grab your monthly Beauty PR Club social media planner each month here).
C - Coverage - Placement of your brand in a media outlet - blog, magazine, online, radio or television.
C - Credit Information - Always provide a journalist with any information that will be needed alongside any product/service placement. This typically includes: brand name, website and price.
D - Deadlines - Journalists work to tight editorial deadlines and can often request information and images on very short notice which is why it is essential to be prepared. D - Desk Side/Desk Date - This is when you or a PR is able to meet with a journalist directly (often at their desk) to introduce your product.
E - Editorial - This used to make up the bulk of content that you would read in a typical magazine and the type of placement you will likely be aiming for. Always check for tell tale 'promotion' 'sponsored' or 'advertisement feature' copy too.
E - Editors - The head honcho of the magazine/paper who will give editorial direction and oversee the creation of each issue. There will be editors for each department of the magazine/paper and a number of journalists within each department that you could talk to.
E - Exclusive - Offer something that no other magazine will have access to - inside your home or workspace can be a great opportunity for a sizeable amount of coverage
E - Embargo - This is for news that is date/time sensitive. You would put an embargo on anything that you wanted to preemptively introduce to press but not go live/into print until a certain date.
F - Final Edit - You can be 95% of the way there with a placement but it may not survive the magazine’s final edit/cull before print. We’ve always said that ‘Its never 100% until you see it in print’ - but don’t be disheartened, just aware.
F - Facts - Fill your press release with notable and interesting facts.
F - Forward Planning - See Short Lead and Long Lead - Different media work to different timelines and it is essential to incorporate this into any forward planning you do for your brand; events, new product launches etc, so that you can place your coverage to get the optimum results at the optimum time.
G - Guaranteed Coverage - There is no such thing! Well there is if you are paying but remember too that stories long in the making often do get pulled last minute by an editor having a bad or good day or over promises from journalists.
G - Google Alerts - Easy to set up for your brand and any related key words and will track online coverage for you.
H - High Res Images - These are an absolute must! High quality, high resolution photography, be these cut out images or lifestyle/model shots. Do you need help with your images? We have a few great photographers that we are happy to share with you!
H - Hook - What is it about your brand or products that will pique a journalist’s interest? That is your hook.
I - In - House - A magazine may not always use images sent by a brand, they will call in samples of the product to be shot by their own in-house photographers and styling team.
J - Journalist - A journalist can have any title from Style Writer to Features Assistant to Beauty Assistant and anything in between. Get to know what type of content the journalists you want to target write and tailor your pitch accordingly.
J - #JournoRequest - Go straight to Twitter and search out #JournoRequest for a myriad of pleas from journalists for information, quotes, images or samples to support the articles that they are working on.
K - Key Details - Make sure these are always on press materials/clear on email: Brand name, short bio, contact information, website and social media handles.
L - Long Lead - Long lead media titles can be working anywhere from 3-6 months in advance, so come July, monthly magazines (women’s, men’s, home, lifestyle, weddings, niche) can be working on content for their November/December issues. Yes, Christmas in July is a thing. L - Look-book - A great way of showcase your brand and products to journalists, stylists and influencers.
L - Line Sheet - A line sheet of your product range is essential to keep to hand, especially if you’re working with an agency on your PR, social media, website or marketing. Be clear and transparent about your product offering and what is available to use in promoting your brand.
While a Look Book gives you the feel, line sheets give you the facts.
L - Launch - Press love a product or brand launch event and a launch of something new can provide a PR hook for the right media.
M - Mission Statement - What does your brand exist to achieve?
M - Media Kit - This is a tool that you can have ready to go at short notice, featuring copy about your brand, an overview of product, news, imagery and all credit information.
N - New Releases - If your business or product range is ever evolving there could always be a hook for a press release.
N - Network - You never know who you will meet and PR is not always about ‘coverage’ in the traditional sense.
N - NLA - This is the Newspaper Licensing Agency. The NLA protects the copyright of most print and online media and for you to use or reproduce coverage on your website or social media, you will need to be possession of a relevant NLA Licence.
N - Newsjacking - It is possible to piggyback on topical news stories if they are directly relevant to your business or if you are an expert in the field.
O - Opportunity - Always be open for opportunities for PR and exposure. An event happening? Could you provide something for the goody bags? Is there a like-minded business in the area that you could partner with for some local promotion initiatives? Think outside the box is an overused term but one that very much has its place in PR.
P - Product Placement - Great coverage for product based business can be found on shopping pages, product round up/review features. Essentially, it is coverage that consists of an image of the product with all relevant credits.
P - Press Release - The starting point for all PR activity that will give a journalist what they need to know about you, your brand and your hook. You should be aiming to send out a minimum of 2 per month to your relevant press and media contacts.
P - Press Day - An event often put on by PR agencies or big brands’ in house PR teams, that showcases new collections to a range of invited media, journalists, stylists, influencers and bloggers.
Q - Quotes - Always be prepared to provide quotes on your area of expertise at short notice. If there are topical developments/stories you could quote on, get in touch with relevant journalists. You don't always need a full feature or story to appear in the press.
R - Regular Feature - A feature that appears in every issue of a media publication. Stylist’s ‘Work Life’ feature for example.
S - Short Lead - This term applies to quick turnaround media from blogs and websites to newspapers and weekly magazines that can be working anywhere from days to 4-8 weeks in advance.
S - Social Media - Social Media is modernising PR and making it easy for anyone to pitch a story or introduce a brand to key journalists. More and more brands are partnering with Influencers or becoming influencers in their own right utilising the powerful reach of social media channels like Instagram.
T - Target Audience - Be clear on who you are wanting to reach and what media they consume.
U - USP - One thing that will set you apart from the hundreds of other brands competing for coverage will be your Unique Selling Point. What makes you different from your competitors and THE brand to feature?
V - Values - What are your values, what is your WHY as a brand and how does this position you among your competition?
W - Wait - Have patience for the right opportunity. Coverage won’t come from every press release, pitch or email.
X - XYROPHOBIA - The fear of being close to or touching sharp implements, unless they are your words right!!! Just thought it was cool thing to know!
Y - You - Your personal story can be a PR point and can pave the way for more in depth coverage and insight into your brand, adding another dimension to your PR.
Z - Zip folders - when sending high resolution images - condense them into a zip file that can be easily attached to an email without swamping the inbox at the other end or use a file transfer function such as wetransfer.com. Always ensure you provide the necessary alt tag information information when sending images.
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